It’s not too far from the truth to say I was ‘Born to Knit’! My grandmother taught me one day when I was just 4 years old – a day I remember vividly as the sweep had come to clean our chimney. I was excited at the prospect of seeing the brush emerge at the top, but became so engrossed in what my grandmother was showing me that I missed the big moment!
I am inspired by the colour and texture of hand knitting yarns, and the process of creating something beautiful and unique with essentially nothing more than a length of wool and a couple of pointed sticks.
Hand knitting is currently enjoying a huge revival and attracting a much wider age range – it is certainly no longer restricted to grannies… nor indeed to women, and scientific research attests to a range of therapeutic benefits too.
The range and variety of yarn available today is greater than ever before and although yarn (like everything else!) can be bought over the internet, there is no substitute for being able to experience the colours and textures at first hand. The advent of these beautiful yarns, coupled with a more fashion-orientated approach to pattern design has played its part in rekindling interest in hand knitting and bringing it bang up to date.
Willoughby Brown, my four-foot-something knitted bear, stands in the shop to meet and greet customers, on the principle that if you can’t afford staff, knit them! Since his creation, Willoughby has taken on a life of his own, appearing both in the local press and national knitting magazines. He won the Silver Medal in 2014 Knitted Textile Awards, has his own email address and, if you scroll to the bottom of the page, even his own mini website!
The excitement at seeing the chimney sweep’s brush is now a distant memory, but my passion for this wonderfully creative, absorbing and relaxing craft, which has been such an important part of my life has stayed with me ever since.